In a modern world where the joys of retro video gaming is primarily left to re-released classic consoles, it's always a joy to find a brand new title that throws back to the gems of yesteryear. SuperEpic is one of those unique video games that manages to combine a realistic modern narrative, despite its heavy fantasy elements, with nostalgic features to offer up a memorable and unique gameplay experience, from indie developer Undercoders.
Picture the scene: a video game development company has beaten out - or bought out - their entire competition, and now controls an Orwellian society thanks to their addictive free games with dreaded microtransactions. The organisation is fronted by literal "fascist pigs", and whilst the majority of the population they rule over are deeply brainwashed, there are a select few who manage to enjoy video games of the past.
One gaming duo who haven't fallen victim to the brainwashing are a raccoon and a llama, and they're the heroes you'll be taking control of during your SuperEpic adventure. When a secret society reaches out and encourages you to join them in their attempted takedown of the all-powerful company, you're tasked with infiltrating the organisation's grounds and bringing those pulling the strings to justice.
Two game modes are instantly available for players, with the classic single-player campaign, which runs for around eight hours, as well as an arcade-type mode which procedurally generates the game map on each run, so that every attempt at grabbing a new highscore is different.
At its core, this game is a Metroidvania-style romp through countless floors of rooms packed full of enemies, all with their own different abilities which you're forced to adapt to quickly if you're to take them out without falling victim to some damage yourself. You're not using your raccoon's fists to wallop the baddies, though; instead you're given a bunch of different objects, including a croquet mallet and a stop sign, to smack your way to the top.
The combat is super simple, with upgrades available to your health bar, as well as new skills and abilities as you progress through the vertical levels. Despite these all feeling familiar to veteran gamers, they feel like a breath of fresh air when compared to the AAA titles we're all starting to become accustomed to. If SuperEpic proves one thing, it's that you don't need an open world and true-to-life graphics to make a success of a game.
As is often the case with a game in this genre, there are times when you'll fall victim to circumstance rather than failing because of your own skill, which can feel a little unfair. Still, brush yourself off and continue on in your adventure, and you'll be thankful for the compelling storyline and genuinely funny dialogue.
Efforts have been made to ensure SuperEpic stands apart from similar games that dropped a few decades back. For example, there are basic dialogue choices to help shape conversations, and even a working QR code that opens up a mobile 'Pigcoin' mining game, to gain currency which can then be used in-game. This mechanic in particular really impressed me; it highlights the world we're currently living in, and embeds it within your SuperEpic experience.
If Metroidvania titles are your thing, and you enjoy quickwitted humour and easy-to-learn mechanics, then SuperEpic could be your perfect purchase! It's not going to be for everybody, but for those of us who hark back to a golden age of gaming between the late 80s and early 90s, then this is a welcome addition to our game library.
SuperEpic is available now on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. SuperEpic: Badge Collector's Edition and standard physical edition will drop on March 20th, available for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. A Nintendo Switch code was given to Female First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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